Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pigeon's Nest

"Lucky looked out, towards the Statue of Liberty. Beyond it a cluster of jets were circling and stacking up for landing at La Guardia. There was a nest on the ledge outside Black's window, and a pigeon - presumably one of a pair - was minding it. She remembered the pigeons outside her window at the Fairdeal office in Bombay acting this way." ( p. 217)

Pigeons have been cooing outside my window for as long as I remember. While birds are essential creatures, they can be quite annoying, especially when they gurgle incessantly all day long, make nests in the air -conditioners positioned outside and more importantly cast off their feathers which get tangled up in the houseplants sunning themselves in my balcony.

This is largely because there are several spots in Mumbai which are reserved for feeding pigeons like the famous "Kabutarkhana" at Dadar.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Crime of Passion

"I mean, Ms. Boyce, let's face it:the criminal mind is an oxymoron. Most of these guys are not thinking when they commint a crime. If they were smart they either wouldn't do it in the first place, or they wouldn't get caught. They act impulsively - "crime of passion" people call it - or they think they've got all their bases covered, which they never do. That's why they get caught." (P212)

For some strange reason man has been fascinated by crime and crimes of passion somehow grab the imagination even more. Shakespeare that ever green playwright of the Elizabethan era has captured our imagination with stories of "Romeo & Juliet" and 'Hamlet" where the mind is gripped by a sensless passion that drives the characters in the play to perform mindless acts.

However, this "Crime of Passion" a song by Mike Oldfield is different. Hope you enjoy it!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A jail house that really rocks.

The state wasted no time in going after Steve and within no time he landed up in jail (P210).

Poor Steve, in a strange turn of events, finds himself back in prison for the alleged killing of Rizzo, the thug who assaulted Lucky.

The grey sombre buildings of the Charles Street Jail in Boston is one prison that people would love to visit repeatedly. This is because the buildings have now been converted into the swanky Liberty Hotel.

In its latest avatar, this building is simply amazing! I can never forget the awe I felt when I entered its central lobby to go to its famous restaurant CLINK for a quick bite when I was visiting my friends in Boston. Its slick, clean lines kept to the original theme but the obvious luxury transformed it from the cold, penitentiary where Steve found himself.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Can you feel the love?

"I love you , Lucky,' Amay said. 'Please remember that ' (p.203)

One of the most beautiful love songs I've heard is Elton John's "Can you feel the love tonight" from my all time favourite "The Lion King".

Love, that very complex of all emotions is extremely hard to define. How often do we bandy that word around, sometimes almost reflexively without real feeling?

I can never forget the time my young son came up to me and gave me a big hug, suddenly and out of the blue. I asked him what brought that on and he replied, "Nothing mama, I just love you."

"Really?How much?" I asked him impishly, the accountant in me somehow getting out.

Without batting an eyelid he replied " I love you 5."

"Only 5 ?" I asked him.

"But that's my whole hand," he said as he showed me his outstretched palm.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Dangerous house break- in

'Who's there?' Lucky asked, louder now. Instinctively she shot out her hand and threw the deadbolt, a split second before whoever was outside kicked at the door. Lucky screamed and threw her weight against it. The person outside kicked it again and she felt the frame giving.' (p197)

Lucky had decided to leave Amay and had packed her bag but just as she left the apartment, she remembered Mike's pistol on the night stand so she returned only to find that someone was waiting outside trying to break in.

Having your house broken into is a horrid experience but sometimes it can become a worse experience for the intruder! In newspaper article I read long ago a cat burgler in rural Orissa was stunned to find himself at the receiving end. Ramu, the cat burgler had scaled the wall of the local landlord's home and jumped into the compound. He began to walk towards the house when the landlord's pet leopard leapt at him and grabbed him by the throat! Wondering whether he was about to breathe his last, he was relieved at seeing the gardeners and house boys come to his rescue. The cat burgler was taken to the hospital instead of the police station.

The ultimate irony was that Ramu made a police complaint against the landlord for keeping a wild animal in his home. The land lord had no option but to pay a compensation to the cat burgler for breaking into his home and facing bodily harm.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Upside Down reality

'And then she remembered something else Shanti had said."When the world turns upside down, stand on your head." ( P195)

Though the Shirshasan is the King of all Poses, I myself love doing the hand stand.
Like any yogic inversion, this requires intense concentration while getting into the pose so that a perfect balance is maintained.

Infact I've always been fascinated by Circus clowns walking on their hands and have wondered what the world would look like if I really stood on my head.

Is this our reality?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Fears are Illusions

'Let go of your fears. They too are illusions, a self-imposed slavery.' ( P195)

Completely thrown by the news that she is pregnant, Lucky has a disturbed sleep in which Shanti her mentor comes to her in her dream. Shanti advises Lucky to let go of her fears because according to her they are just imaginary. So often we find ourselves gripped by irrational fears which when we work through somehow just vanish!

I would like to share some amazing examples of optical illusions that I came across on These examples of metamorphic art are by Mexican artist Octavio Ocampo

Optical Illusions - Abuelo y Abuela - Dos Musicos

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Nasik - India's Wine Country

'She thought of Shanti, who she knew was now in Nasik, living with her granddaughter. Her seemingly ageless body had finally let her down...........Lucky closed her eyes and pictured Shanti lying on a bed in a sunny, well-lit room. Outside her window were the green and fertile rolling hills of central Maharastra.' ( P.192)

Situated 180 km away from Mumbai, on the banks of the Godavari, the second most important river in India, Nasik is an ancient temple town. With pleasant climate all year round and rich fertile soil, it has always been known for its agricultural produce. In the recent past, however, it has emerged as a major wine manufacturing area in India with at least three important wineries in its environs and many more grape farmers.

While discussing the anomaly of Wine making, a distinctly Occidental industry, thriving in a typical Oriental town, my Uncle Jal came up with this theory which I still have not been able to verify or establish. Perhaps it was just one of his imaginary tales or perhaps there is some inkling of truth:

"You see, Baps," he told me, " the British had established a Prisoner of War Camp in Deolali during World War 2 where they kept a lot of Italian POW's . And they say that one of these prisoners had smuggled a stem of a grape vine in his jacket to remind him of home and when he came to Deolali, he planted it in the compound. That is how Nasik had its first European grape which of course multiplied and multiplied till it became a full fledged vineyard!"

Seeing my look of utter disbelief he went on: "Honestly, I know you don't believe me but it's true. In fact, Mussolini's army had a unique tag line to attract potential recruits : Join the Italian Army and see India."

Do you believe this story? I still don't.


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